SFoodie is calling up food types around the city to ask them about their favorite discovery of the past year, whether it's new or ancient, an ingredient or a person. We'll be running their responses over the course of the next 10 days.
Jeremy Tooker of Four Barrel shares with us his three favorite finds for the year."One food that I sort of rediscovered this year was good ramen," he says.
"I know that ramen is trending right now, and before this year I didn't really understand it. I had a few bowls at some pop-up shops and local places, and didn't fall in love with it, and chalked it up to ramen just not being my thing."
But something happened that changed Tooker's mind about ramen.
"I went on a trip to Japan as part of the OPENrestaurant group, and in that group are quite a few ramen buffs. I told them that it I didn't understand the craze, and they introduced me to a few places there that made me a believer."
He continues, "Unfortunately, I felt like I had been ruined for all ramen in the Bay Area, but my friends recommended their favorite place in the bay, Ramen Dojo in San Mateo. It is, in my opinion, the only ramen that compares to ramen in Japan, and I crave it weekly." He adds, "I'm helping some guys get a place together in Oakland in the future."
What else did Tooker love in 2011?
"My wife and I also love hamburgers. We've tried them all; from the $20 fancy burgers to the weekly Rosamunde backyard style (also a favorite), but we landed on the burger from Super Duper. If you ignore all the intentionally (?) cheesy marketing, it is actually quite an amazing burger. That's my wife's take.
"And Mission Chinese, of course."